Welcome to the Zwanziger Lab
Greetings! We are diverse materials science lab
at Dalhousie University
. The lab
director, Professor Josef Zwanziger, holds appointments in both the
Department of Chemistry
Department of Physics and Atmospheric
, and is very active in the
Institute for Research in Materials.
We are on the DREAMS team!
Our lab is part of the DREAMS--Dalhousie Research in Energy, Advanced
Materials and Sustainability--program. This is a $1.65 million
NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program
aimed primarily at supporting a cohort of research trainees who
will address important aspects of energy production/storage and
sustainability. Researchers will play a pivotal role in renewable
energy production and storage as well as the sustainable production of
environmentally acceptable or re-usable materials. For more details about
DREAMS, see irm.dal.ca/DREAMS
Optical Glass and Photoelasticity
Stress on glass, both
compressive and tensile, leads to birefringence. Such an effect is shown
in the accompanying picture, showing several glass samples undergoing
compressive stress and viewed through cross polars. We are working on
the problem of designing zero stress optic glasses without the use of lead
or other environmentally harmful additives, and have made much progress
in this area.
Glass Structure and Crystallization
Another project in glass science involves study of glass structure as it
relates to the mechanism of glass devitrification.
This work is part of our
NSERC-funded Inter-American Materials Collaboration.
Recently we have become interested in the problem of producing stronger
glass. This is an important area because current glass making technology
is very energy intensive, and production is expected to rise world-wide
due in part to the demands of solar power production. Stronger glass
could require that less be melted, resulting in an overall environmental
savings. We are studying the structural and atomic bonding problems
surrounding glass stiffness and strength, with a variety of microscopic
and macroscopic methods.
Polymer Fibre-Toughened Concrete
Together with Polysteel Atlantic and
Department of Civil Engineering, we are developing new materials
for use concrete composites. The figure shows x-ray diffraction
from a drawn polymer fibre.
Computation and Theory
We have a significant effort in computational and theoretical studies of
solids. We develop code in the ABINIT
project, a density functional theory approach to solids using pseudopotentials and a planewave basis.
Our current work involves implementing the response to fields using the
Projector Augmented Wave formalism. The picture shows the electron density
in the Mott-Hubbard insulator LaTiO3
, for which we could
reproduce the nuclear quadrupole resonance spectra and study the